Vagal nerve stimulation is often used to treat patients with intractable epilepsy. Vagal nerve stimulation involves implanting small electrodes around the vagus nerve in the neck which sends electrical impulses to the brain with the goal of controlling the number of seizures a patient experiences. The electrodes are connected to a pulse generator which is implanted in the upper chest. The device is small and functions in the same manner a pacemaker would.
Spinal cord stimulation may be used to treat chronic pain. A spinal cord stimulation device is usually placed behind the spinal cord in the space between the bones of the spine and the covering of the spinal cord. It delivers a low-voltage electrical stimulation to the spinal cord to block sensations of pain. The location of placement is specific to the area of pain. Unlike high doses of pain-relieving drugs, spinal cord stimulation does not cause sedation, nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbance or dizziness and does not affect cognitive function.
Deep brain stimulation may be used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Deep brain stimulation uses mild electric pulses to stimulate the brain and block the signals that cause the abnormal movements. It involves implanting one or more insulated wire leads in one of several areas of the brain. The lead is connected to a small pulse generator which is implanted beneath the skin in the upper chest area.
To make an appointment with a neurostimulation specialist please call 800-922-0000. For clinic location and hours use the Find a Physician link.
- Kenneth A. Follett, MD